Liverpool

Hillsborough Inquests: Mother anger at boy's blood alcohol test

Hillsborough disaster Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Ross said he saw no co-ordination among the emergency services, which was "rather disturbing"

The mother of a 15-year-old boy who died at Hillsborough has told the inquests it was "unforgivable" police took his blood alcohol level.

Dolores Steele was at the FA Cup game at the Sheffield ground with her husband Les and her two sons, Philip who died and Brian who survived.

The court heard her sons had gone into the Leppings Lane terraces, while she and Les were in the seats above.

She said as the disaster unfolded it was "like a battlefield... horrific".

Ninety-six fans died as a result of a crush at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest in 1989.

Mrs Steele told the Warrington court she had asked her sons if they wanted to take the seated tickets but they had both refused, preferring to experience the match among the crowd on the terrace.

Signet ring

As the disaster developed below her, she heard people screaming and shouting at police to open the gates at the front of the terrace, but there had been no response from the officers.

She said she saw one person laying a jacket over a fan on the pitch and that it had been "like a battlefield [with] people in a state of collapse - just a horrific scene".

She realised Philip had died when she was shown his signet ring and his watch, but her husband was called to identify his body at the stadium later in the day.

She said Mr Steele was taken into the gymnasium at Hillsborough and came out "like a zombie".

"[He said] they have grilled me in there for an hour and I know what they are going to say, they are going to say the fans were all drunk," she said.

She also made reference to the decision to take Philip's blood alcohol level, along with that of the others who died, and said "it makes me very angry that police took a blood sample from a minor - that's unforgivable".

Prodded with a foot

The court also heard from Maxwell Ross, a fan who had helped those caught up in the crush at the ground.

Mr Ross said he been delayed getting to the ground and only made his way onto the terraces at just before 15:00 BST.

"There was so much screaming and shouting and carrying on, and people trying to climb up the fences on either side, both onto the pitch and to the side, and you could see there was a lot of consternation down below," he said.

He said he left the terrace to help the "walking wounded" with first aid skills he had learned in the Scouts.

He told the hearing he did not see any ambulances or medical equipment on hand to help and told a policemen a "fleet of ambulances" were needed, but the officer "did not respond".

He said he had not seen any co-ordination among the emergency services, which he said was "rather disturbing".

Mr Ross said he had asked an officer standing on the concourse behind the terraces to help him with an injured fan.

"[The policeman] stood over him and prodded him with his foot and said, 'well he's breathing isn't he?'," he said.

He added that he stood by a statement he made two days after the disaster that there was a "lack of action" from police at the scene, which "caused a great deal of anger amongst supporters".

The inquests continue.


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